William C. Rodgers
Bill Rodgers a.k.a. Avalon (died December 21, 2005), co-proprietor of the Catalyst Infoshop in Prescott, Arizona, USA, was one of six environmental activists arrested December 7, 2005 as part of the FBI's Operation Backfire. He was charged with one count of arson for a June, 1998 fire set by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) at the National Wildlife Research Center in Olympia, Washington. He was found dead in his jail cell on December 21, 2005. According to police, Rodgers committed suicide using a plastic bag.
The FBI has claimed that Rodgers was a criminal "mastermind" and the anonymous author of Setting Fire with Electrical Timers, an Earth Liberation Front Guide, which explained in detail how to create an incendiary device known as a "cat's cradle". Authorities said that once the guide was published they no longer were able to tell with certainty when the ELF cell connected to Rodgers was responsible for an arson.
To my friends and supporters to help them make sense of all these events that have happened so quickly: Certain human cultures have been waging war against the Earth for millennia. I chose to fight on the side of bears, mountain lions, skunks, bats, saguaros, cliff rose and all things wild. I am just the most recent casualty in that war. But tonight I have made a jail break—I am returning home, to the Earth, to the place of my origins. Bill, 12/21/05 (the winter solstice.)
Many activists blamed two co-operating witnesses for Rodgers' arrest, both of whom are alleged to have been very close friends and members of the same ELF cell as Rodgers and agreed to become informants for the FBI.
Rodgers has had a continuing impact on various anarchist and radical environmentalist movements. A number of acts have been dedicated to his memory. Among these have been the removal of 28 beagle puppies from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Independent University of Madrid and the burning of a partially constructed development in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
- "Remembering Bill Rodgers: Long Live Avalon!". Slingshot. Retrieved 2006-07-09.[dead link]
- Prosecutors portray close-knit arson team, The Seattle Times, 21 January 2006.
- Operation Backfire: The Feds Make a Monstrous Move, Green Anarchy, 24 June 2006.
- CBS4denver[dead link]
- 28 beagles rescued by ALF, Bombs and Shields, 12 January 2006.
- Anti-Sprawl ELF Action in Memory of William Rodgers, Mostly Water, 10 February 2006.